I'm a novelist and have an interest in space science and physics. I've been a programmer for more than 30 years and I like reviewing new and up-and-coming authors.
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Beyond Falcon's Reach by Jay Northearn, is a mish-mash of high fantasy, gothic-horror, steampunk and electropunk, with a dash of semi-intelligent machine-learning AI's thrown-in to boot. Yet for all of this, the world Northearn has created is homogenous and holistic - two watchwords I'll bang on about until the cows come home, to anyone who'll listen. Giving everything in your world a place and a reason for being there is something that every writer should always keep in mind. You could learn a thing or two about this from Northearn.
There is magic, but it's subtle. This is not a Harry Potter world. There are god-like creatures, but they interact with the world in etheric ways. There are strange creatures aplenty.
Many of the characters wouldn't feel out of place in a Titus Groan novel, and there is a large cast to play with - large but not too large. Each of them is beautifully unique, wonderfully realised and exquisitely portrayed. They don't just come to life, they fairly leap off the page. The humour hits the right spot every time, and when it's time for a bit of gravitas or action, Northearn knows how to handle that too.
If we ignore the 'plot' of the story and concentrate on the plots the characters themselves are involved with, involved in, or weaving, it doesn't take us long to see there is plenty of grist to this story. Plots within plots. Devious plots. Machiavellian plots. Everyone has a role to play, and not everyone you thought you'd labelled as a black-hat or a white-hat made that label stick.
The portable version for Linux has been released and is now available on thepage. There are also instructions and sample files to setup a desktop icon/launcher in case you want that too.
The application comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit variations.
I had a momentary lapse last night - or was it inspiration? Anyway, I've added a real-time clock that shows the current time on Mars using the Martian clock (the seconds are a bit longer) for the location of the InSight lander.
The lander is situated in the south-west corner of Elysium Planitia, and very handily, it's on a nice longitude. You can view the clock on this page. [edit: there are now 3 clocks, one each for the prime meridian, InSight's location and mission time]
It's been a while in coming but it's finally here, with a packed feature list. It has increased precision and is generally a lot easier to use.
You can now perform two-body orbital calculations, so the masses of both a star and planet (or planet and moon) are taken into consideration. Time dilation can now be calculated either as a function of the speed of light or (in a much more mundane and realistic way) from an orbit. Orbital time-dilation takes into consideration gravitational dilation as well as dilation based on velocity.
Additional objects have been added to the default database (don't panic, you can import your old database), including the Alpha Centauri trinary (Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B and Proxima Centauri), Tabby's Star, Barnard's Star and Tau Ceti. Managing the database is much simpler now too.